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Public Policy Institute, January 23, 2017
The Medicare program protects consumers by limiting how much physicians and other health professionals can charge Medicare patients. This fact sheet describes Medicare’s “balance billing” rules for physician services and related rules for physicians who choose not to accept Medicare payment and instead have “private contracts” with all their patients who have Medicare.
Medicare’s current rules limited balance billing and private contracts provide important financial protection for consumers. Without these protections, Medicare beneficiaries would likely face higher out-of-pocket costs. Higher costs would be difficult for many people to afford and likely lead to more limited access to physicians for many beneficiaries, as well as greater financial distress.
Read the Fact Sheet (PDF)
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